Billed as the crossover in the ever expanding Mini family, the tall four-door Countryman seats five (in a pinch) and has hatch space that is expandable from 350 to 1170 litres. Having been around since MY2011, the Countryman runs with the old-gen 1.6L turbo four-cylinder making 181 hp, 177 lb-ft and powering all four wheels through a six-speed manual or optional $1400 six-speed auto. It bows at $29,950 for the Countryman Cooper S ALL4.
As with all Minis, this tall-boy exhibits quick steering and sharp handling. The extra weight and all-wheel-drive mute the performance of the turbo-four somewhat, but it is still an eager performer. Fuel economy is rated at 8.6 L/100 combined with the manual transmission and 9.0 L/100 km with the auto.
The Frisbee-sized central speedo and row of funky toggle switches are all cues taken from the original Mini, blown up to Fisher Price proportions. Running the full length of the cabin between the seats is a funky track on which things like cup holders, arm rests and sunglass cases can slide. Unfortunately, the Countryman’s interior suffers from flimsy plastic trim and resultant rattles.
For 2016 Mini offers the Countryman Park Lane special edition at $35,750. It gets Earl Grey paint with Oak Red accents, dark grey 18-inch alloys with performance tires, Cross Stripe Gray interior surfacing with Carbon Black accents, heated seats, sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, rear park distance control, sport button and Harman Kardon audio.
Those requiring more speed in their not-so-mini Mini will want the John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 from $38,500. Output of the 1.6L turbo jumps to 208 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Other speedy upgrades include 18-inch alloys, lowered ride height, snarly exhaust, aggressive body bits and firmly supportive bucket seats.
The Mini JCW Countryman can be optioned up and customized till the cows come home. ALL4 a price.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed